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Attention - strange cracking sound in head
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Attention - strange cracking sound in head

I have this cracking/clicking sound in my head. I have no idea what it is and I get really worried because I feel like it could be serious. It happens when run or sometimes when I walk. The cracking sound usually doesn't happen if I'm not running, walking, jumping up and down, or moving alot in some way. My neck also cracks several times when I breathe in deep. I'm not sure if they are related but figured it would be best to tell everyone. Anyways, this has been going on for several months and I'm worred it could be something serious going on with my head so any feedback would be appreciated.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.

Without the ability to examine you and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of your symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

Clicking sounds that are heard with movement such as with movement of the neck are often due to arthritis of the neck area, these can be transmitted and appear to be coming from within the head. These are similar to the sounds heard when one "cracks the knuckles". Arthritis of the neck most often occurs with age but can occur in younger people with repetitive strain to the joints such as due to certain occupations or with athletes. Clicking/cracking sounds can also be heard with movement of the jaw in people with dysfunction of the joint that connects the jaw to the skull: the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This can result from inflammation of the joint due to repetitive strain such as with teeth grinding at night.

In the absence of other symptoms such as pain or neurologic symptoms, there is no evidence for a serious neurologic disorder. However, discussion of your symptoms with your primary doctor/family physician is recommended, with further evaluation by a specialist or other testing such as imaging (MRI) of the cervical spine may be indicated depending on your exact history or examination.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
8 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Please, it would be great if anyone could help me out!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
This is really worrying me so I'll say once again if anyone can help me that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Avatar_f_tn
Doesn't look like you have a serious problem, most likely you have a vertebral instability of cervix. It is treated by massage and manual therapie, phisio therapie, exercises for neck muscules. Visit your neurologist first to determine the right treatment.
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Avatar_n_tn
First off thank you for responding. I'm fairly sure that it is not arthritis of the neck because I am only 18 years old. I've had this problem for a while now and tried to think nothing of it, several months actually. Finally I had to go looking for answers and found that this is seemingly a great way to do so. Well I stumbled across a thread that was said to be similar to this one. Basically this person said that it sounded like they had rice crispies in their head. This happens to be a great way to describe my symptoms. Not to mention although my symptoms mainly happen when I am moving they do happen a when I'm not as well. Also, your response does not address the fact that I have hear several cracks in my neck when I breathe in deep. Also, in this other thread I came across someone responded with something like this, "Oh yeah I had the same problem and your problem is that you have (big word name of disorder which I can't remember). But the troubling part for me is that he said this very dangerous and can be fatal. He said what happens when you have (this disorder/disease) is that you have a small leak/hole in your lungs and that this is causing air to escape and travel to your head, and this attributes to the cracking sound I hear. Is there any chance I could have this problem???
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Avatar_n_tn
I feel like I should help you to further understand my symptoms so you can make a more accurate diagnosis of my problem.

Some background-
I am 18 years old

I'm about 5'8'' 145 lbs.

I'm a guy and I would say I'm in pretty good physical condition, although I may not be in the best cardio vascular shape.

Some possibly Notable possibly unrelated symptoms-
I used to have sharp pains in my upper back/neck and sometimes still do. These pains usually have when I am lifting something, this feeling can be very uncomfortable.

I also would like to let you know that when working out hard, cardio vascular wise, it is extermely hard on me. Given my body type this is to the point where its unusual. I am not lazy, I played sports in high school but when I stopped I got out of shape. I still think it's unusual because when this happens I feel like I can't breathe and mucus wants to force its way up to the point where it chokes me. Once again I am not lazy and find it unusual due to the fact that this has never happened while working out in the past.
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Avatar_n_tn
Once again I want to thank you for even looking at my post. I am not quite sure myself if I am just being a hypocondriac about the whole situation or not. I however am very worried because I found that other thread. I think about this constantly and it affects my life. It is very troubling so if you could look into this for me it would be greatly appreciated. I am going to go to the doctor eventually but want to know if there could be a very serious problem going on with me that needs immediate care.

So once again thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
By the way I found the other thread again I was referring to in the related discussions section towards the bottom of the page. The disorder I was referring to is spontaneous pneumothorax.
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